Joe Nally and five other cyclists are keeping rider journals for The British Continental this season. The 20-year-old Scot, a former Great Britain Cycling Team Senior Academy rider, races for Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK. This is Joe’s first journal entry…
‘Who is Joe Nally?’ Good question. To be totally honest, 20 years on I’m still not entirely sure myself, so this could be as insightful for me as it will for you.
My thinking with this article is that everyone here knows I’m a cyclist and while I could spend an hour writing about how I’m excited to start racing, that I’ve had a good winter and life is all peachy and blah – that’s pretty much a given. Instead, I’m going to take the time to introduce you to the individual behind the athlete, so that I’m less of a stranger to you all going forward this year. I realise we all have busy lives and this could be a lengthy endeavour, so my method of getting this done as quickly and painlessly as possible is pretty genius if I do say so myself.
Speed dating is “an organized social activity in which people seeking romantic relationships have a series of short conversations with potential partners in order to determine whether there is mutual interest.”
Sounds ideal. So I just went and Googled ‘10 Best Speed Dating Questions’. Let us begin…
1. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
There are a lot of things I’ve done through my career that I think I can be super proud of, but something that happened this summer stands out as being a bit different for me. I’d been struggling mentally for a while and things crescendoed into one big mess and I finally cracked for the season.
I’d slowly come to realise that just talking about how you’re feeling makes things way, way better
I’d slowly come to realise that just talking about how you’re feeling makes things way, way better so eventually I decided to be fully open on social media. This was purely a self-focused endeavour but what came from it was that I created a platform for people to share their own experiences and I became that person to turn to for many. I learnt a lot about the people I know and love and I definitely made a difference to them.
2. What’s your favourite time of year and why?
The cyclist in me is saying summer. Warm weather and plenty of racing to keep me occupied. Personally though I’ve always enjoyed the build-up to Christmas and Hogmanay. I have countless fantastic memories of all the years spent growing up surrounded by the chaos of my village gearing up for the festivities.
3. What vegan food would you make if your friends were coming over for dinner?
Okay… So it turns out the first Google search result that popped up when I was looking for speed dating questions was (genuinely) FindVegLove.com – a vegan speed dating website. Sorry guys, I’m not a vegan – I’d make a Carbonara. I make decent homemade fresh pasta and I love Italian food, so it’s a good match.
4. If you were a wild animal, who would you be?
If I could choose I would probably say a golden eagle. Majestic, strong, soaring over the Scottish mountains without a care – seems like a nice life. What am I most similar to? I see some resemblance to a very old dog. Pretty chilled out, loyal, doesn’t move much or make a lot of noise, smells a bit funny. That’s me in a nutshell.
5. What possession is most important to you and why?
I’m going with the cheeky answer here – my girlfriend. I mean, she definitely owns me though, not the other way around.
6. Where would you live, if it could be anywhere?
Again, the cyclist in me is fighting the individual on this question. Over the past few years, I’ve travelled to some amazing places but I would absolutely love to have a small flat somewhere in the old town of Edinburgh. Equally though, throughout my whole life, I’ve dreamed of moving to Europe but I’ll need to explore some more before settling on an answer. I speak a bit of French, so maybe somewhere on the Côte d’Azur?
7. What‘s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday morning?
Nine times out of ten my Sunday involves being out on the road for ~4 hours but if I was to plan the perfect morning it would go something like this: sleep in until 10ish – chill for half an hour or so in bed – get up – make some pancakes – sit out in the sun and eat breakfast. Smashing.
In reality, on most days off I can be found out cold until the afternoon so that kind of spoils the question.
8. What book did you read last?
The Blackhouse by Peter May. It’s a crime novel which takes place on the Isle of Lewis up in the Outer Hebrides. My mum got me it for my birthday since it’s one of her favourites, I would happily recommend it.
9. If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be?
This has been going through my mind for a while now trying to find an answer I’m happy with. I reckon a dinner date with David Attenborough would be amazing. (Surely someone reading this can make this happen???) I imagine he’s got some amazing stories and hearing him tell them over a good carbonara sounds like a dream.
Something that I value in all people is just being a nice hearted human with good intentions
10. What‘s something you love about your best friend?
Something that I value in all people is just being a nice hearted human with good intentions. I have some vastly different friends but they’re all well-meaning people so I love each and every one.
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